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Pepperfry to expand online furniture sales business in India

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Pepperfry

Pepperfry has raised another $31 million in funding.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — A fast-growing Indian economy equals more people are moving to urban areas and getting on the housing ladder. The same boom has inspired a series of companies that use the internet to help home owners and renters outfit their places of residence with furniture.

Pepperfry is one such company, and Wednesday it announced that it has raised $31 million to build out its business across India.

The four-year-old company was started by ex-eBay executives Ambareesh Murty (CEO) and Ashish Shah (COO) who “decided to turn entrepreneur and make the most of the e-commerce potential in India,” Murty said.

Murty anticipates the market for interior design in India at between $30-$40 billion per year and he believes that it is ripe for disruption.

“India is fairly underserved when it comes to organized retail and [the market for furniture is] exceedingly fragmented. The top five brands account for just four percent of all sales,” he said.

With its most recent round of funding bringing in another $31 million, Pepperfry has now raised $160 million from investors. his latest round was led by existing backers Goldman Sachs, Bertelsmann India Investments, Norwest Venture Partners and Zodius Technology Fund. Last summer, Goldman led the company’s $100 million Series D.

The company claims to offer an inventory from 10,000 partners — including its own line — across decor ranging from furniture, home decor, kitchen and dining, and pet supplies. Beyond selling online, the company operates a number of experience centers which are staffed by interior design experts and open to customers seeking ideas or input about their home. Murty said the company is aiming to increase its current 10 experience centers to as many as 30, taking them into tier-two and tier-three cities in India.

Pepperfry additionally seek to expand its logistics, too. Currently, Murty claimed, it can reach around 500 cities in India, but it plans to increase that to 1,000 before this year is out by investing in its logistics network. Pepperfry built its own delivery system, including its own last-mile fleet. This was done, because, “there was nobody in India capable of delivering big boxes to consumers,” he explained. Today, that stands at 17 fulfilment hubs and a delivery fleet of more than 400 vehicles.

“We estimate that the rental stage is only three to four years before consumers begin buying furniture for themselves,” Murty argued. “If we drive and give customers amazing value even on products they buy, why would they rent?”

Likewise there’s no plan to expand the focus outside of India at this point, as you might have gathered from the company rural expansion ambitions.

“India is a young country where consumption is increasing at a rapid rate,” he said. “Our focus over the next couple of years will remain the Indian market, then we’ll see.”

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Former MGM executive Roma Khanna named Revolt TV’s next CEO

Former MGM executive Roma Khanna named Revolt TV’s next CEO

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Roma Khanna

Sean Combs Announces Roma Khanna CEO of Revolt TV

LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — Sean Combs has announced Roma Khanna the CEO of Revolt TV.

“As Revolt continues to grow as a brand and expand globally, I knew we needed a seasoned executive with a proven track record to keep the momentum going and help me lead the network into the future,” said Combs. “Roma is that person. She has the experience and tenacity to build on Revolt’s success and as we continue to influence content and culture around the world.”

“After decades of building large-scale businesses in TV and media, I am excited to have the opportunity to work alongside visionary Sean Combs to get hands-on and redefine content models with a view to building a modern, relevant, global cultural brand,” said Khanna. “Revolt is ready to create and curate content and super-serve its audience on its own TV platform and beyond, living and breathing with its audience wherever they might be.”

Revolt says the company’s mission is to build on its platform to offer long- and short-form content revolving around hip-hop music and culture. According to Revolt’s website, “REVOLT is focused on expertly curating the best of the best in music and engaging youth in social conversation – on-air, on-line, on-demand. The multi-genre, multi-platform network offers breaking music news, videos, artist interviews, exclusive performances, and original programming.”

Revolt claims to have over 50 million young adult consumers through television, digital properties, social and mobile. REVOLT is accessible 24/7 – anytime, anywhere, any screen.

Khanna left MGM, where she served as president, in late 2015. She helped launch FX’s “Fargo” and History’s “Vikings.” She spent three years as president of global networks for NBC Universal’s international networks wing. She also oversaw the development of Hulu hit “Handmaid’s Tale.”

Revolt had been without a CEO for a year, since Keith Clinkscales left the company last August. Revolt launched as a linear channel in the U.S. in October 2013 and has since expanded to Africa and the Caribbean.

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Indian American Physician Vas Narasimhan Named CEO of Novartis

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Vas Narasimhan

Indian American Physician Vas Narasimhan Named CEO of Novartis

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Switzerland-based biotech giant Novartis says Indian American physician Vas Narasimhan will take reins as CEO on Feb. 1.

The 41-year-old Narasimhan joined Novartis in 2005. He currently serves as the company’s Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer. He is also a member of Novartis’ Executive Committee.

“Both from a professional and a personal perspective, this is the right moment to hand the leadership reins of the company to Vas,” said current Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez. “Our strong pipeline and the strategic moves we have taken to focus the company have put Novartis on a strong path for the future. On the personal side, after 10 wonderful years in Switzerland, my family is ready to return to Silicon Valley and the U.S. I’m confident that Vas will be an excellent successor.”

Joerg Reinhardt, chairman of the Novartis board of directors, said the company anticipates “a smooth transition, as Joe built a strong leadership team and mentored his successor.”

Narasimhan graduated from Harvard Medical School. He also has a master’s in public policy from the university’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He earned undergraduate degree in biological sciences from the University of Chicago.

Prior to joining Novartis, he worked at McKinsey & Company, first as a consultant and then as an engagement manager.

An elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, Narasimhan has held a number of positions at Novartis.

Reinhardt expressed confidence in Narasimhan’s ability to lead the company to “expected next growth phase … The strength of Novartis is our ability to drive science-based innovation. Vas is deeply anchored in medical science, has significant experience in managing the interfaces between Research and Development and commercial units and has strong business acumen with a track record of outstanding achievements. As a physician, he has a strong patient focus and a genuine humane perspective and care for the mission and values of Novartis. As a result, the Board of Directors is confident that Vas is the right choice to lead Novartis on our expected next growth phase, driving innovation and further strengthening our competitive position.”

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Former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya to raise $500M for a large fund

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Charmath Palihapitiya

Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors is attempting to raise $500 million as he builds a large investment firm.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors is attempting to raise $500 million as he builds a large investment firm.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Palihapitiya is listed as CEO of “blank check company,” Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings. The company plans to raise $500 million in its IPO and subsequently acquire emerging private businesses that have little incentive to go public.

“Our mission is to create an alternative path to a traditional IPO for disruptive and agile technology companies to achieve their long-term objectives and overcome key deterrents to becoming public,” the filing said.

Palihapitiya has often condemned the traditional venture model and expressed his admiration for billionaire Warren Buffett, who erected Berkshire Hathaway into one of the World’s largest publicly-traded holding companies over a half century.

Social Capital is going to be more like a “bastard stepchild of Berkshire Hathaway and Blackstone and BlackRock” than a traditional venture firm, Palihapitiya said at an event in 2015.

One of Palihapitiya’s goals in the venture is bringing together “technologists, entrepreneurs, and technology-oriented investors,” the filing said.

The Wall Street Journal reported Palihapitiya’s team is planning to meet with investors soon, then initiating the IPO shortly thereafter on the New York Stock Exchange.

Hedosophia has offices in Hong Kong and London. Ian Osborne, CEO of Hedosophia, will be president of the new holding company. Former Skype CEO Tony Bates and former Twitter executive Adam Bain are among the Board members.

Palihapitiya spoke to Diya TV moments after the Warriors championship win in 2017

 

 

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